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2M Patient Records Used by CDC to Shed Light on Long Covid

Hospitalized patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to have shortness of breath, exhaustion, and Type 2 diabetes months later, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open this week. The study looked at aggregated electronic health Records data from more than 2 million patients who were tested for COVID-19 between March and December 2020 and had medical encounters between 31 and 150 days after testing, according to scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Public Health Institute.

COVID-19 and its long-term effects, commonly referred to as “long COVID,” are still being researched. The researchers point out that population-based estimates of the occurrence of additional symptoms and illnesses after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis are still lacking. The researchers used the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, PCORnet, a national-scale research network, to fill that gap.

PCORnet commenced COVID-19 surveillance among 42 healthcare systems and one health plan in April 2020, with data for around 12 million people available. Researchers looked at the Records of 338,024 persons under the age of 20 and 1,790,886 people above the age of 20 from 40 different health systems for this study. Positive and negative COVID-19 test results were compared for the occurrence of new symptoms and diseases, stratified by age and care context.

Shortness of breath was more likely in patients over the age of 20 who had tested positive, regardless of whether they had been admitted to the hospital. New fatigue and Type 2 diabetes, as well as diagnoses of cognitive impairment, sleep problems, heart rate irregularities, and myoneural disorders, were all more common among hospitalised persons older than 20 who had a positive test result.

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